How to Read Your Propane Tank Gauge: A Step-by-Step Guide

Propane tank users can often find themselves perplexed when attempting to determine the amount of propane left in their tank. It’s critical to understand the fuel level to avoid running out of propane and wasting money. Fortunately, reading your propane tank gauge is an easy and useful skill to master. However, not all propane tanks come equipped with gauges, so we’ve included instructions on how to check the level of propane in a tank without a gauge.

Step 1: Open the Lid

Begin by opening the lid of your propane tank to reveal the components below. Under the lid, you’ll find several components. Here is a photo of the typical components you can expect to see:

Step 2: Identify the Gauge

The propane tank gauge is a circular dial with a red or black needle that indicates the fuel level. Its purpose is to show how much propane remains in the tank. Most gauges are “float gauges,” which function similarly to a vehicle’s fuel gauge. The gauge reads the level of liquid propane in the tank using a floating arm, and the gauge drops as the propane level decreases. Understanding how to read the gauge will help you know when it’s time to refill.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The numbers on the gauge represent the tank’s fullness as a percentage.
  • Propane expands and contracts as temperatures rise and fall.
  • Propane tanks are filled to around 80% capacity due to the natural expansion of the liquid.
  • As a result, if your propane tank reads 80%, it’s full.

Step 3: Close the Lid Slowly

Close the lid of the propane tank slowly and carefully, keeping your fingers out of the way.

Helpful Hints About Propane Deliveries

If you prefer to monitor your own tank levels and call for deliveries when you deem necessary, try not to let the tank level drop below 20%. For homes that rely on propane as their primary heat source, the propane level can decrease quickly if the temperature outside drops. As a result, we recommend calling when your propane tank has approximately 30% left.

Running out of propane is a frustrating experience for everyone involved. We don’t want you to be left without heat during the winter months. If you do run out of propane, call us right away, and we’ll dispatch an emergency driver as soon as possible. By law, any propane tank that runs out of gas must undergo a pressure and leak check.

If you have any other questions please give us a call at (207)363-4172